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Spices Cafe @ Concorde Hotel

22 June 2009

In a move to complement its à la carte menu, Spices Cafe at Concorde Hotel (formerly "Le Meridian Hotel") has introduced an enticing BBQ-inspired menu that is bound to whet that appetite of yours. With a selection of over fifty grilled skewers at affordable prices (read: from $1.90++ onwards), you would almost be spoilt for choice, if not to mention as well that I myself had an early dilemma of whether to go for a single dish or a variety of small sticks. In the end, I decided to go for the latter.

The interior of Spices Cafe is relatively simple but posh and comfortable enough for a hotel restaurant. For a Friday evening it was quite peaceful, but most welcomed if you're trying to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Service here meanwhile is excellent and certainly worthy of praise.

Complimentary Bread Basket

The complimentary bread basket was a sight to behold simply because of its sheer generosity. While there was only two of us, it looked fit for four, and we had to return half of it (clean and untouched of course) to the staff. Many of the bread slices were too cold and dry for my liking, but at least the softer butter buns made up for them. If you like your salads, there's also a salad bar which costs around $8++ per person.

Nasi Goreng Istimewa: 3.5/5

Loosely translated as "Special Fried Rice", the Nasi Goreng Istimewa was accompanied by a band of fried chicken wings, achar (Malay pickle), satay (grilled meat skewers) in peanut gravy, crispy ikan bilis in sambal chilli and a couple of breaded prawns. As an overall dish it was good but not necessarily spectacular, and it does remind me of the fried rice in typical room service menus in local hotels here. The rice was quite flavourful and the side dishes were good complements.

Assorted Mushrooms and Herbs: 2.5/5

While Daphne had her fried rice, I was busying myself with the skewer menu. She did point out one in particular that she wanted to try, this charming quintet of mushrooms, but it turned out a tad dry and almost devoid of the "herbs" that the menu seemed to promise. The black mushrooms were better than their light brown, wild counterparts.

Beef Meatballs with Caper Aioli: 4.75/5

The night's winner if you ask me. The minced beef was so juicy and tender and I'm close to salivating just staring at this picture once again. I went as far as making a suggestion to them that they could use this as a beef patty and I'm quite sure it would be a hit with beef burger lovers.

Crabmeat "Chang" Skewer: 2.25/5

This stick, sad to say, was pretty uninspirational and didn't have much of a discerning taste. It could almost be mistaken for one of those sticks from Old Chang Kee (a popular snack chain in Singapore) since they taste quite similar.

Chicken Tikka: 3.5/5

The chicken tikka was alright, it had a unique flavour with different spices vying for some attention from your tastebuds.

Fiery Chicken Fillet: 3.75/5

In contrast to the Chicken Tikka, the simple Fiery Chicken Fillet didn't quite try to tease your senses but it still tastes great. The fillet was tender while the spicy marinate quite delightful. The only problem? I had to stop myself from taking it all in one bite ;)

Marinated Lamb with Asian Spices: 4.25/5

If all mutton satays taste like this, I could eat them everyday. Well, almost. Filled with flavour.

Minced Beef with Spices and Honey: 4.25/5

I like the addition of a lemongrass stalk (or at least, that's what I think it is) because it gave the meat a nice aroma and an added flavour to it. The smallest sized stick though, but juicily good nonetheless.

Dessert Bar

I have to admit that I came to know of Spices Cafe only because of a promotion that Safra card members have and that is a free access to the dessert bar (worth $6++). The dessert bar wasn't as good as grilled skewers though, but it gave a nice, sweet end to a satisfying dinner. Of special mention is the French tart, the almond crumble and the mini éclairs, which I enjoyed very much.

Excellent. I like the way the manager handled his team and how all of them seemed so eager to attend to the customers. Service with smiles and politeness all around, well done.

$13.00 for the nasi goreng istimewa
$2.50 for the assorted mushrooms and herbs
$2.50 for the beef meatballs with caper aioli
$2.50 for the crabmeat chang skewer
$2.00 for the chicken tikka
$3.00 for the fiery chicken fillet
$3.00 for the marinated lamb with asian spices
$2.50 for the minced beef with spices and honey

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Concorde Hotel, Orchard Road.

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2009 ·*the simplest aphrodisiac by TNB | Official Singapore Food Blog.